Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 3x02 "The Funeral" (Anything for the Nine-Nine) [Contributor: Connie]

"The Funeral"
Original Airdate: October 4, 2015

This week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine was another solid one for the books. We get to see Jake and Amy together (SQUEE) while working together against the Vulture, one-drink Terry, a depressed Captain Holt, and Archie Panjabi. So many great things, so let's dive in.

The squad must attend Captain Dozerman’s funeral and their newest Captain (the Vulture) is doucheing it up all over the place. What I can see about this season already is how Captain Holt’s absence is subtly affecting each of the characters. Terry says it more explicitly later on, but our characters are finding themselves more and more out of their comfort zones the longer that Holt is gone. Terry, Charles, Jake and Amy, and even Holt himself are all in new territory and are trying to adjust. It doesn’t help that they keep acquiring new Captains with the same frequency as Harry Potter got new Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers.

What I enjoyed most about this week’s episode was that we had the chance to see Jake and Amy work together as a couple. I mentioned last week that we didn’t get the opportunity to see Jake and Amy talk like normal people due to their heightened awkwardness. This week, they are operating as their normal selves, which is both refreshing and also a solid way to write transition into the “they will” part of their relationship. For it only being an official six days, they have settled comfortably into their at home and relationship groove. I hope (and am sure that) we get to see more of this. I also like that the show didn’t fall into the trope of creating some dramatic falling out due to confusion between the two and their new status quo. Jake and Amy genuinely like each other and they’re figuring their relationship out, but there isn’t a necessity for there to be some big misunderstanding or fight between them every episode (ahem, The Mindy Project).

The Vulture (I’m not even sure I remember his real name at this point…) demands that Jake and Amy break up or else he’ll demote Jake to beat cop. Rather than really even consider the option (“I got it: we lie, tell him we broke up, and then date in secret.” “Great! And you’d be okay with lying to your Captain?” “Okay, new plan.”), they spend the episode working together to dismantle the Vulture’s rising reign of terror. We get to see how Amy and Jake’s partnership works when it is at its best. Jake has a wild, not well thought-out plan, which often distracts from Amy’s real, level-headed plan. Their effort to record the Vulture was brilliant, even if they never got to use it. (I love when Jake so convincingly puts himself into a position and then quickly learns that’s NOT the one he wanted to be in.) Don't worry, though: we’ll get to Jake’s speech a little further down in this review.


Boyle is trying the hook-up life and it’s really not going well for him. I love how Boyle thinks he is fully into this “sleeping with someone but knowing nothing about them” lifestyle, but it’s Rosa who reminds him that he doesn’t operate that way. Once she gets into his head, Boyle's funeral sex with The Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi grinds to a halt. (That play on words wasn’t on purpose, but I recognize it and stand by it.) Boyle tries to find out more about her and the fact that she is a vegan (“a gluten-free vegan!”) is the ultimate dealbreaker. Typical Boyle. Sadly, Panjabi was underused in this episode, so I hope she gets to come back. She didn’t get to do much, but this show has a way of bringing one-off characters back, just like Parks and Recreation did.

Captain Holt returns to the Nine-Nine and feels like it has moved on without him. Of course, he should be proud that his team is doing so well after he molded and shaped them, but the Vulture gets into his head. “I keep forgetting, you used to work here. Everyone does.”

Of all the people the Vulture verbally kicks (and physically, in Boyle’s case), his words to Holt are the worst of all. I despise him more for that than for his words to Jake or any of the rest of the squad. Partially because I know that Holt can take the Vulture down in a millisecond, and partially because Holt is so vulnerable right now and the Vulture manages to get under his skin. Holt heads to a bar and doesn’t even stop to sniff the bouquet of his wine! “The alcohol has rendered me a simpleton.”

Holt is asked to prepare a “message of hope” after the funeral. “This is what I have so far: pain.” I wish words on the page could express the way Andre Braugher delivered that line. It was guttural, it was full of, yes, pain, and it was hilariously executed. It is so sad that Andre has not won an Emmy for this show yet. His speech, in the end, boils down to: “Everything is garbage.”
“Never love anything, that’s the lesson.” 
Jake has a wonderful rebuttal, not that his speech (or Holt’s) had anything to do with Dozerman. He speaks directly to Amy. Jake wants to fight for them, because he sees it as something special. “Sure there may be obstacles, but I don’t care if I get demoted. I care about being with you.” AWW, JAKE.
“I’m all out of plans.”  
“I have one: Holt saves your ass.”
Inspired by Jake’s speech, Holt convinces the Vulture to leave Jake and Amy alone, while letting Jake keep his job:
“I was moved by your speech, Peralta. The syntax was problematic, and your vocabulary is a true indictment of the public school system.”  
“I love the Nine-Nine and I’m not going to turn my back on the squad.”
Holt, come back to us! Also, loved Amy’s whisper to Jake that Holt “totally approves of us.”

Never change, Amy Santiago. Never change.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “He heard that I speak Spanish so he made me fire his housekeeper. She was Polish.”
  • “Pillow talk alert! Set the scene: spooning or face to face?” “Charles.” *fist pumps* “Spooning.”
  • “Once again, Scully’s butt is the downfall of this precinct.”
  • “Hugs are a form of inappropriate workplace touching. Trust me, I am very familiar with the sexual harassment guidelines.”
  • “Also, if you ever want to bust out that Holt impression at home, I’d be okay with that.” “Wow, okay. Duly noted, super disturbing, but I’m definitely gonna do it.” 
  • There were several references to Jake and Amy being “home” “together,” both between themselves and others. SQUEE!
  • “You’ve probably heard that Amy and I have been dating.” “And we would love your approval.” “-- no.”
  • “Meet me in 15 minutes.” “I’ll meet you alright. M-e-a-t.” BOYLE, NO. Just. No. But also, I love how Boyle’s food nerdiness comes out even accidentally. 
  • “Do you really need to warm up though? You’re just going to make a terrible wall of sound.” Back in college, a bagpipist (-- piper?) would play on the same floor at the same time as my gospel choir rehearsals. I don’t think anyone could make those two very distinct sounds go together. Ever.
  • “We’re both SO bummed that he’s dead.” “Super bummed.”
  • “So you were the one who brought all the prostitutes?” Talk about a wham line. Also that was Dozerman’s wife whose “work ethic” were his last words of praise. 
  • One-drink Terry pulls out the Carlton. Good to know. 
  • On the second viewing, I really enjoyed how everyone’s official police attired went from crisp, starched, and clearly uncomfortable, to unbuttoned and rolled up at the sleeves. 
  • “Yeah, it [Jake’s speech] pretty much sucked butts, but somehow was the best of all three toasts.”


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